District 1 Updates from Commissioner Frethem

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Serving the communities of Arden Hills, Gem Lake, North Oaks, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Township, and parts of Mounds View, Spring Lake Park and Blaine.

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December 3, 2021

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Nicole Frethem
Commissioner, District 1
651-266-8362 or 651-425-9580 

Sheena Denny
Principal Aide

Nancy Larson
Administrative Assistant

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Commissioner Nicole Frethem

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The board of commissioners returned to virtual board meetings. Board meetings and workshops can be streamed online on the Ramsey County webpage.

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Ramsey County has launched the new Job Connect online job board to connect residents and employers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This employment platform is the latest tool integrated within the county’s economic development website, RamseyCountyMeansBusiness.com, which provides business development resources and incentives.

Covid-19 Vaccine

Schedule your appointment today

Vaccines are FREE for everyone and widely available. For more information, visit the covid-19 dashboard on the Ramsey County webpage. 

Current vaccination rates (as of November 29, 2021) in District 1 are:

  • 55112 - 76.2%
  • 55126 - 84.2%
  • 55127 - 80.2%
  • 55110 - 74.5%

If you are not sure how to find a vaccine or make an appointment, we can help. Contact our office at district1@co.ramsey.mn.us

Bruce Vento Regional Trail Extension

Comm. Frethem speaking

On November 17th, Commissioner Frethem presented to the MN House Capital Investment Committee on the Bruce Vento Trail extension. Details about the project can be found on the Ramsey County webpage

Happening in the Community

play is training for the unexpected

Ramsey County's Tamarack Nature Center has formed a partnership with St. Paul Public Schools where all early learning students have the opportunity to come to Tamarack for an outdoor educational experience. To date,  5 schools participate with approximately 200 students. An additional 19 schools are scheduled this spring, serving 580 students in total. We are thrilled that Ramsey County is connecting youth from the urban core to this great educational facility.

Registration for winter programming at Tamarack is now open. All programs will follow public health guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 and are subject to change or cancellation based on the status of the pandemic. Tamarack Nature Center staff will be in contact with program registrants in the event that any other programs are impacted. Program updates will also be listed on the Programs & Events page.

2022-23 Budget Process Update

A public hearing on the 2022-2023 proposed budget was held on Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. If you were unable to attend, you may still submit comments on the budget to the board. A recording of the hearing will be available soon. You can find more information here.

The county sets a total tax levy amount each year to meet budgetary demands of county provided services that are not covered by other revenue sources (such as state and federal grants, or fines and fees). The public budget process is meant to give the public an opportunity to weigh in on the budget, priorities, and programs the county is evaluating for the next two year budget cycle.

Many property owners expressed concerns regarding their change in property taxes at the public hearing.

Property owners pay a portion of the tax levy through their property taxes, based on the value of their property as a portion of the value of all property in the county. Property owners pay tax levies to multiple local jurisdictions including their county, their city, their school district, and special local taxing districts such as library boards and watershed districts.

Because there are many factors aside from the tax levy amount that determine your property tax rate, such as: your property's market value, the total value of property in the county, and the tax levy amounts of other taxing jurisdictions, your change in property tax from year to year will not necessarily align with the percentage change in the county's property tax levy.

Serve on the Library Board

The Ramsey County Library Governing Board is looking for two trustees. Serving on the Library Board is a great way to get involved with your local library system and make a positive impact on your community. 

Application deadline is Wednesday, December 8. Apply today!

Happy Holidays!

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For tips on celebrating the holidays safely, visit the MDH website.

Ramsey County Park Ordinance Updates

On October 23 & 26, Commissioner Frethem held community office hours via zoom to address concerns regarding the park ordinance proposal. If you did not have a chance to attend, you can view those discussions here

board workshop to discuss community engagement results and seek policy guidance from commissioners was held on November 2, 2021. 

The most important outcome was the board's support to move forward with the Park's department's recommendations to adopt standard park hours of 5am - 11pm rather than a 24 hour park policy. Although Commissioner Frethem advocated for a closing time of 10pm, a majority of other commissioners thought midnight would be better and 11pm emerged as a consensus decision.

An ordinance draft will be developed soon. A public hearing and comment period will be scheduled where additional resident feedback will be gathered. The date for when the draft will become available is still to be determined. Updates on the process will continue to be posted here on the project webpage.

Property Tax Notices

property tax image

Each year, property taxpayers receive two mailings for each property they own. You will receive mailings via U.S. mail, unless you've chosen to receive them electronically through e-notices. The November mailing contains the proposed tax notice, which provides the proposed tax amounts for the following year and meeting information on proposed levies and budgets.

More property tax resources can be found here, including a short video on understanding property taxes. 

Property Tax Refunds

Many eligible residents neglect to file for their property tax refund. Do not miss out on money you are entitled to!

  • If you are a renter and your total  household income is less than $62,960, you may qualify for a refund of up to $2,210.
  • If you are a homeowner and your total household income is less than $116,180, you may qualify for a refund of up to $2,840.
  • Special Property Tax Refund: No homeowner income limit; refund limited to $1,000; property tax increased by more than 12% and increase was at least $100.

Filing information can be found here or by calling 1-800-652-9094.

How to file:

  • Homeowner refund: online, software provider, or by paper
  • Renter refund: software provider or by paper
  • Final deadline to claim 2020 refund: 8/15/2022

Ramsey County Early Childhood Academy

The Ramsey County Early Childhood Policy Action Group, co-lead by Commissioner Frethem, identified the early care and education workforce as an area the county could invest in to better support child care infrastructure in Ramsey County. On November 23, Workforce Solutions Director Ling Becker presented to the board a recommendation to create a Ramsey County Early Childhood Academy for worker training and small business support. A workshop will be held in December on this topic. For more information, you can view the county board meeting presentation here

All Minnesotans 5 years and older are now eligible for vaccine.

I got vaccinated because
  • Public Health is now offering vaccines for children age 5-11.
  • Ramsey County continues to work with community partners to prioritize equitable distribution. 
  • No one will be required to get the vaccine by the government or public health.

Ramsey County is now offering Pfizer and Moderna booster shots at our clinics, by appointment only.

COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are available for anyone 18 years and older who received their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

Visit the Ramsey County webpage or  the CDC webpage for more information on children and vaccines.